|Apple vs. Nokia Is China a Game-Changer?|
NEW YORK, ( TheStreet) -- Nokia ( NOK - Get Report) gets further down the path toward a tablet showdown with Apple's ( AAPL - Get Report) iPad.
Confirming what TheStreet first reported in April, DigiTimes reports that Nokia has produced about 100 tablet prototypes for developers in the hopes of having an iPad-like touchscreen device ready for sale this fall. Nokia is expected to have an Intel-powered tablet running on the Meego operating system, says Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar, who first noted the Nokia plans in April. DigiTimes however, says the Nokia tablet will be powered by an ARM ( ARMH) processor, but that would conflict with the Meego strategy, which is a partnership between Intel ( INTC) and Nokia.
Nokia is eager to make something happen in new generation mobile devices, an area where the phone giant has been alarmingly ineffective. Nokia added a new chapter to that decline Wednesday warning of a sales shortfall for the second time in two months. Nokia has been crushed by the smartphone success of Apple and Google ( GOOG - Get Report) Android phones. The Finnish phone shop's tablet move comes as other players jump in, drop out or retool for a promising new product category. Apple's iPad got off to a huge start with more than 2 million units sold. Tablets face a make or break moment in the all-important holiday season, and the players have been busily adjusting for the opportunity. Microsoft ( MSFT) dropped out of the race, shelving its Courier eBook device. Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ - Get Report) wiped its Slate effort clean vowing to return with Palm ( PALM) powered tablets. Google and Verizon ( VZ - Get Report) are expected to introduce a tablet soon and Dell ( DELL) may be working with Google on a tablet powered by the Chrome operating system. Recent history will show that Nokia hasn't had much luck outside its core phone market. Nokia's bold entry into the netbook market with the Booklet device fizzled upon launch last year. So investors probably aren't expecting miracles from Nokia's tablet venture. --Written by Scott Moritz in New York.